Its March, and this winter has felt long. Los Angeles has been under a deluge of rain, so I’ve cherished every run possible. Traversing the weather has led to me embrace zen running, and I’m sharing my 5 master steps.
My Running Diary: March 6, 2019
I say this a lot, but zen running is easier than you think. It definitely takes some practice, so what exactly is a zen run? Zen running is when your run is completely about running and the world melts away. There is nothing else in your way and you truly are present during your run.
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You’re not counting the miles, dreading the hills, or focusing on the finish. But most importantly, you’re not thinking about the rest of your day and what you’re doing after the run. I’ve become a zen running master this winter, so I’m sharing my 5 steps to running bliss.
Step 1: Leave your worries at the door
This one can be extremely hard. Maybe you have an important meeting later in the day and you’re mentally prepping yourself. Leave it at the door. Remind yourself that while you run, you don’t need to mentally prep yourself for your daily grind. Your run is your physical and mental sanctuary. It’s where you learn to be calm and face all of life’s difficult terrains.
Step 2: Stick to Your Running Plan
You set your alarm clock the night before with the “hope” of running in the morning, but do you go? Barring an emergency or extreme weather, when I plan to run, I go out and run. I don’t change my alarm clock and I don’t decide at the last minute not to run. This definitely takes a shift in mindset, but it can be done easily. Simply start out small by planning on 2-3 runs a week and once you master those, then add days.
Step 3: Consistency is Key
This goes hand and hand with step 2. Often times we go through waves of doing something. You get on a cross fit kick, eat only salad for lunch, or ride your bike daily. Something happens in your life and bam, you’ve stopped your new habit. Normally its a shift in schedule or adding more work to your plate, but the result is the same. For a long time, I did this with running too. I’d have months, very long stretches, where I’d be in the running zone and then boom, I’d let it go. It wasn’t until I did step 2 that I truly brought consistency into my running.
Step 4: Relax
If you’re a runner, then you definitely put a lot of pressure on yourself to run and get your miles in. If you’re training or accomplishing a challenge like I am, then you probably beat yourself up over needing a running break. Learn to relax.
I was able to let that pressure all go with the birth of my daughter. Just the act of running is soothing to me and I know that I have a thousand other things to do, but none of that matters while I run. I truly learned how to just go out for a quick run. The miles don’t really matter. It’s the act and the way that act makes me feel which are important.
Step 5: Be grateful
Some people can’t run for health reasons, or they’re convinced that running is not for them. I know what my life looks like when I can’t run, and I do not want to live like that. Therefore, every single morning I wake up and go run, I am grateful. No matter how that run looks or feels, I embrace the act of doing. We change so much as a person, physically and mentally, so allowing yourself to be present for your life is a blessing. This is zen running.
Running is my favorite physical and mental activity. It helped me get through a very dark period in my life. On the outside I did not let it crack me. It helped me stay connected to my body during my pregnancy, as well as postpartum. I am who I am because I run and I’m constantly working on zen running!
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Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Host at BuzzChomp. She’s an Actress, Writer, Director and Producer. Get lost in her Youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
Zen Running photo credit to yours truly
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